Quotulatiousness

December 3, 2017

Shell Recycling – WW1 Monuments in WW2 – Resistance Movements I OUT OF THE TRENCHES

Filed under: Europe, Germany, History, Military — Tags: , , , , , — Nicholas @ 04:00

The Great War
Published on 2 Dec 2017

Chair of Wisdom Time!

November 28, 2017

The Canadian Army’s Leopard tanks

Filed under: Cancon, Military — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 04:00

In a discussion on Facebook the other day, I’d mistakenly stated that the Canadian Army had initially sent the “new” Leopard 2 tanks leased from Germany (20 refurbished Leopard 2A6Ms) to Afghanistan to support the Kandahar mission. In fact, as a lengthy article linked by John Donovan pointed out, our poor zipperheads had been operating non-air-conditioned Leopard 1 tanks until the government made arrangements with some of our NATO allies to get modern MBTs into the combat zone. I suspect the reason for my confusion was that the old Leopard 1 tanks were designated as “C2” by the army and I’d confused that with the more general “Leopard 2” name for the modern tank. This article in Defence Industry Daily sets out the details:

Leopard 2A6M in Afghanistan

A number of options for renewing Canada’s tank capability were considered, ranging from refurbishment, to surplus, to new. Delivery time was of the essence, and DND’s examination determined that the cost of any new vehicles involved paying up to 3 times as much as buying the same basic tank models on the surplus heavy tank market. New medium tank options like the 32-tonne CV90-120 light tank also offered full tracked mobility and similar firepower at less cost, but Canada had learned that heavier weight was often a tactical plus in theater, and decided that they needed vehicles sooner rather than later.

Accordingly, the Canadian government approached 6 allied nations regarding surplus main battle tank sales, and received proposals from 3 of them. It then went ahead and made 2 purchases, plus another 2 follow-on buys.

Their tank choice is a modern mainstay for many countries. Thanks in part to the great DeutschePanzerSchlussverkauf (German Panzer fire sale), the Leopard 2 and its variants external link have now been bought by Germany, Austria, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Finland, Greece, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Singapore, Switzerland, Sweden, and Turkey.

Canada’s 1st step was a lease, in order to get modern, air-conditioned tanks to the front lines immediately. Germany won that order, and 20 German Leopard 2A6M mine-protected tanks were delivered by the summer of 2007 to replace existing Leopard 1A5/C2 tanks in Afghanistan. The new tanks’ electric turret systems produce less heat than the C2s did, and air conditioning was added to the new German tanks in theater. This was a relief to Canadian tank crews, who had needed protective suites in the 140F/ 60C interiors of their Leopard 1A5 tanks.

The 2A6M is the most modern serving Leopard variant, though KMW had proposed a “Leopard 2 Peace Support Operations” variant with improved protection, and integrated combat engineering capabilities. By the time modifications were finished, the Leopard 2A6 CAN turned out to fall somewhere between the conventional 2A6M and the PSO. Canada actually ended up keeping the leased and modified German tanks, and sending 20 Leopard 2A6Ms from its follow-on purchases back to Germany.

The follow-on purchases of 127 tanks were won by 3 countries. The biggest order for 100 tanks went to the Dutch, who are serving under NATO ISAF beside Canadian forces in southern Afghanistan. Training for 5 years and initial spares will also be provided. Cooperation between these nations is not new. Dutch PzH-2000 mobile howitzers have already proven very helpful during Operation Medusa external link, and so had their CH-47 Chinook medium-heavy helicopters – some of which were bought as surplus from the Canadians in the 1980s. The cycle continues. And so it goes.

In the aftermath of their sales to Norway, Denmark, and now Canada, The Dutch were left with 110 Leopard 2A6-NL tanks in their arsenal. Other sales dropped that total further, and on On April 8/11, the Dutch Ministry of Defense announced that the last tank unit was to be dissolved and all remaining Leopard tanks sold.

The additional Leopard 2 buys totaled 27 tanks/ hulls. First, another 15 Leopard 2A4s were bought from Germany, to be used for spare parts. This hadn’t been contemplated in the initial plan, but it was necessary. The initial set of 20 leased German Leopard 2A6Ms were experiencing readiness problems, as tanks were cannibalized in order to keep others running. A 2010 buy from Switzerland added 12 stripped Pz 87s (Leopard 2A4 variants) for conversion to specialty vehicles, under Canada’s Force Mobility Enhancement (FME) program.

The earlier Leopard 1 tanks had been purchased in the late 1970s (very much against the preferences of the government of the day) to replace the late 1940s vintage Centurion tanks the Canadian Army had been operating:

Canadian Leopard 1A3 (Leopard C1) at the Bovington Tank Museum.
Photo by Chris Parfeniuk, via Flickr.

When 4 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group was moved from Westphalia to Lahr on the Rhine frontier with France, some policy-makers apparently sought to do away with Canada’s tanks entirely.

For some years, the brigade continued to use their Centurion tanks, an excellent tank in its day but one that could not be used on long road moves. In 1975, the Canadian Prime Minister, Pierre Trudeau, visited Germany to ask the Chancellor for his support for getting Canada special trade status with the European Common Market. He was told to come back to discuss the matter once Canada had replaced its antiquated tanks.

The contract for the Leopard tank acquisition followed quickly. Consideration had been given to totally rebuilding the Centurions with new power pack as the Israeli army has done with their Centurions. Before the order could be delivered Canada negotiated a deal with the German Government to lease 35 Leopard 1A2’s to train their crews on the new tanks.

The upgrade from the initial Leopard C1 to the C2 model began in 1996:

Late in 1996 it was announced that the Canadian Forces were to carry out a major update on their fleet of Leopard C1 tanks (The C1 was the equivalent of the Leopard 1A3), which involved the replacement of the existing turret with the complete turret of the German Leopard 1A5. The Leopard 1A5 turret features the STN ATLAS Elektronik EMES-18 computerized fire-control system which incorporates a Carl Zeiss thermal imager.

The 105mm L7 rifled guns in the Leopard 1A5 turrets were not retained but were replaced with Canadian Leopard C1 original 105mm guns, the L7A1. The ballistic computers were reprogrammed to match 105 mm Canadian ammunition.

The turret rebuild was carried out in Germany and commenced in June 1997 with the first turret being shipped to Canada in December 1997. GLS refurbished the turret, removed the 105 mm gun, modified the turret where required, including the installation of the new radios ordered under the Tactical Command, Control and Communications System project.

The turrets were shipped to Canada where a subcontractor installed the 105 mm L7A1 barrel and mounted the turret on the existing chassis for final delivery to the Canadian Forces. It was expected that about six turrets a month would be upgraded with each turret taking six months to upgrade. The program was completed by late 2001.

November 25, 2017

Cambrai Tank Chats Special: The Mark IV Tank

Filed under: Britain, History, Military, Technology — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 05:00

Tank Museum
Published on 24 Nov 2017

The Mark IV tank was the most numerous of the First World War and went in to battle en masse at the Battle of Cambrai, 20 November 1917. In this special edition of Tank Chats, Curator David Willey explains how the Mark IV tank functions and how it was used to break through the World War One German defences.

November 24, 2017

Tank Corps Unleashed – The Battle of Cambrai I THE GREAT WAR Week 174

Filed under: Britain, Germany, History, Middle East, Military, Technology — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 04:00

The Great War
Published on 23 Nov 2017

After stopping the offensive at Passchendaele, the British Army launches another, albeit more limited, offensive. Almost 500 tanks are put into place and the initial success is remarkable. But the Germans had been training in anti-tank warfare and are supported by fresh troops from the Eastern Front.

November 23, 2017

Tank Chats #20 Mark IV

Filed under: Britain, History, Military — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 02:00

Tank Museum
Published on 13 May 2016

Mechanically the Mark IV tank was the same as the Mark I but it had thicker armour, improved fuel supply and modified sponsons with slightly shorter guns in the Male version.

Mark IV tanks went into action for the first time in the summer of 1917, they were the mainstay of the Tank Corps at Cambrai in November and fought through to the end of the war with 7th and 12th Battalions of the Tank Corps. It was a male Mark IV tank which won the very first ‘Tank versus Tank’ action in April 1918 by knocking out the German A7V tank Nixe.

November 20, 2017

Cambrai: The Tank Corps Story | The Tank Museum

Filed under: Britain, Germany, History, Military — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 04:00

Tank Museum
Published on 17 Nov 2017

100 years on from the Battle of Cambrai, The Tank Museum presents a documentary on the moment the Tank Corps delivered one of the greatest advances of the First World War. This is the full-length version of Cambrai: The Tank Corps Story.

As the regimental museum of the Royal Tank Regiment, The Tank Museum is using the World War One centenary to draw attention to the struggle, sacrifice and ingenuity of the early tank men.

November 19, 2017

Development of British Tank Tactics 1917 I THE GREAT WAR Special

Filed under: Britain, History, Military, Technology — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 04:00

The Great War
Published on 18 Nov 2017

The Battle of Cambrai 100 years ago was one of the pivotal moments for the British Tank Corps and tank combat in general. For the first time, the tanks were deployed in a way that they could play to their strengths.

November 15, 2017

The Man Whose Tank Collection Got WAY Out Of Hand | Forces TV

Filed under: Britain, History, Military, Technology — Tags: — Nicholas @ 02:00

Forces TV
Published on 29 Oct 2017

We take a trip to Cobbaton Combat Collection to meet the family with over 70 military vehicles!

October 30, 2017

Tank Chats #19 Matilda II

Filed under: Britain, History, Middle East, Military — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 02:00

Tank Museum
Published on 28 Apr 2016

The name Matilda means Strength in Battle from the Germanic roots Maht, meaning strong and Hild meaning battle.

The Matilda was regarded as a superb tank in its day and carved a remarkable career for itself. A few served in France in 1940 but in the early stages of the North African campaign, under General Wavell, it virtually ruled the desert. Even when the Afrika Korps arrived it remained a formidable opponent, immune to everything but the notorious 88mm gun. Its main failings were its slow speed and small gun, which could not be improved.

October 15, 2017

Panzers in Poland 1939 – Success, Failures & Losses

Filed under: Europe, Germany, History, Military — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 02:00

Military History Visualized
Published on 1 Sep 2017

German Panzers in Poland 1939 were crucial in the success, but also suffered quite some losses and various shortcomings were detected.

October 10, 2017

Evolution Of British Battle Tanks In WW1 I THE GREAT WAR Special

Filed under: Britain, History, Military — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 04:00

The Great War
Published on 9 Oct 2017

Support the Tank Museum: https://www.patreon.com/tankmuseum
Tank Museum on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/TheTankMuseum

Indy talks to Tank Museum curator David Willey about the evolution of the British Tank during World War 1. From the early beginnings with prototypes like Little Willie and the first deployed Mark I to later versions like the famous Mark IV, the Mark V and lesser known tanks like the Mark IX, Mark V** or Mark VIII “Liberty Tank”.

October 4, 2017

TANKFEST 2017 – Behind the Scenes with The Mighty Jingles

Filed under: Britain, History, Military — Tags: — Nicholas @ 04:00

Tank Museum
Published on 3 Oct 2017

See the best display of historic moving armour in the world, 29 June – 1 July, at The Tank Museum, Bovington. Tickets for TANKFEST 2018 are now on sale. www.tankfest.com

Youtuber The Mighty Jingles went behind the scenes at TANKFEST 2017 to meet the people who make TANKFEST work.

September 28, 2017

More than you want to know about the Panzer III

Filed under: Germany, History, Military, Technology — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 02:00

Lindybeige
Published on 8 Jun 2017

Panzer IIIs were common German tanks in WW2, and here I talk about them, and make a few general points.

Another video (there will be more) from ‘The Tank Museum’ at Bovington. Why they changed the name is beyond me. I’d like to meet the branding guru who came up with that idea and administer several hard slaps. It’s like changing ‘Wimbledon’ to ‘The Tennis Competition’.

Anyway, here, in its particular shade of beige, is the tank (with a brief shot of one of its cousins), and I ramble on about various bits of it. It’s all right for you – you just have to watch it once, but I had to edit this, which involves seeing each bit several times, and wading through all the footage of me droning on and on.

I use the word ‘burn’ to describe a H.E.A.T. round’s penetrating a tank, and as several people have pointed out, this is not technically the correct word. They are right, although the word is often used in this context, and the temperatures involved are very high, but yes, I admit it: I should not have used the word ‘burn’.

Yes, I am aware that the links on the end plate come in late. This is because YouTube has changed the system, which used to be flexible, to one that relies on limited templates. It doesn’t enable the user to put picture links in except in the last twenty seconds of a video, and so because I added a little shot at the end, the links all start late. Possibly the new system is supposed to be more idiot-resistant than the old one. Unfortunately, this makes it an obstacle for the intelligent.

Here’s a link to the tank museum’s site: http://www.tankmuseum.org/home

September 20, 2017

Tiger Day VIII at The Tank Museum

Filed under: Britain, Germany, History, Military, Technology — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 04:00

The Mighty Jingles
Published on 19 Sep 2017

It’s Tiger Day once again at The Tank Museum in deepest, darkest Bovington! This time I actually managed to get there and I wasn’t disappointed…

The Tank museum: http://www.tankmuseum.org/home

September 5, 2017

Tank Chats #18 Mark I

Filed under: Britain, History, Military — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 02:00

Published on 15 Apr 2016

David Fletcher has returned to host the latest Tank Chat, on the Mark I tank.

The Museum’s Mark I is the only surviving example of this, the first tank produced to go into battle.

Find out more about the First World War on the Tank Museum’s Centenary blog, Tank 100 http://www.tank100.com

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